What is the point of a doula?
People choose to hire doulas for many different reasons. Scientific studies have proven that women who have a doula present at their birth are more likely to have full-term vaginal deliveries and shorter labors, and are less likely to need interventions. A doula presence may also shorten the length of labor, as well as increase positive feelings about the birth (no matter the outcome) and even improve the postpartum experience. You can read about these studies at Evidence Based Birth, NPR, Science Daily, and American Pregnancy Association.
I will be giving birth at a hospital with incredible nurses, doctors, and midwives. What will you do that's different from the support they provide?
We are lucky to live in a place with a very positive "birth culture" where there are many wonderful hospitals which have hands-on staff who are supportive of laboring women and their partners. My work differs from that of hospital staff in several ways: I provide non-medical assessment and care. I am there for you, the laboring woman, first and foremost. Hospital caregivers may become preoccupied with the baby's heart rate or your blood pressure (as they should!) and I will be able to stay present with you and help you through your hard work. I will not leave your side (apart from short breaks to use the restroom or eat) whether your labor lasts 2 hours or 2 days.
I have a very supportive partner. If s/he is with me during labor, do I really need a doula? Will having a doula take away the intimacy of this precious experience?
Having a supportive partner with you during labor is a wonderful thing! The goal of my work as a doula is to enhance the role of your partner, share my expertise with them, and allow them time to rest and eat throughout your labor. Occasionally partners and other family members can become distressed when they see the woman they love going through the challenges of labor. I know that labor may be long, hard, and painful, and can help with comfort measures for the woman in labor while also being a calming presence for her partner or family. I will explain the stages of labor and what is happening physiologically. I will always discuss the plan for my role prior to the birth, and use cues during the labor to determine how emotionally and physically involved I am desired to be in the moment.
How can I pay for doula services? Got any creative ideas?
I sure do! Paying out of pocket for a doula at an already expensive time in your life can be tricky. Here are some ways you might be able to subsidize my services or even get them paid for in full:
- Contact your insurance company to see if it is possible to reimbursed in full for my services.
- Many insurance companies will allow clients to use their HSA to pay for doula services. (This option and the one above will likely only apply to birth doula services).
- Register for it! Add it to your baby shower wish list and maybe a generous family member or friend will help you out. Gift certificates can be purchased online through Gift MDI.
- Contact me for information about creating a payment plan.
- If none of this works and you'd still like to work with me, please get in touch!
I love your logo! Can I buy a t-shirt, tote bag, or mug?
As a matter of fact, you can! Check out my shop at Society 6 to view the merch.